Rheinmetall to equip Dutch army Fennek 4x4 reconnaissance vehicles with LaZ400 thermal imaging system

According to information released on August 3, 2021, German company Rheinmetall will be equipping the Dutch military’s Fennek 4x4 wheeled armored reconnaissance vehicle with a new gun carriage-adaptable aiming device.
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Dutch Army Fennek 4x4 reconnaissance armored vehicle will be fitted with Rheinmetall LaZ400 thermal imaging system. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The new device, the Lafettenadaptierbares Zielgerät 400, or LaZ400 for short, will replace the vehicle’s existing thermal imaging system, significantly enhancing the Fennek’s reconnaissance and target engagement capabilities. An order to this effect for 246 devices has been awarded to Rheinmetall Electronics through Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, the Fennek general contractor. The order is worth around €36 million, including value added tax. Due to be delivered through to 2027, the devices will be fabricated at the Rheinmetall Electronics plant in Ismaning in Bavaria.

The Lafetten¬adaptierbares Zielgerät 400 retrofit forms part of the Dutch military’s Fennek midlife upgrade programme. The Dutch armed forces will mount the LaZ400 on the vehicle’s 1530-type gun carriage. The new sensor system will supersede the thermal imaging device currently in use.

Already used in the Bundeswehr’s FLW200 remotely controlled weapon station, the LaZ400 is a tried and tested system. Its color daylight sensor, thermal imaging sensor, and laser rangefinder enable outstanding reconnaissance performance around the clock as well as precise engagement of targets.

Now, the current order will bring the number of LaZ family devices now in use to over 2,700. The order underscores once again Rheinmetall’s exceptional expertise in the world of advanced electro-optical sensor technology.

The Fennek is a 4x4 reconnaissance armored vehicle produced by the German Defense Company KMW (Krauss-Maffei Wegmann). The main role of the Fennek is reconnaissance, thanks to a retractable mast-mounted towards the rear of the hull on the left side, which is fitted with a sensor pod containing a thermal camera, day camera, and laser range-finder. The vehicle is in service with Germany, Netherlands, and Qatar.